This down-to-earth former marine and American Idol contestant-turned-
country-music-star just loves a mess of kids.
Country music star Josh Gracin is a true family man. The former United States Marine and American Idol finalist is the proud father of three daughters and one son, all under the age of 8. But Gracin says, “We’d like one more. My wife and I love kids, and I still feel like a kid myself.”
You were married at age 20 and had your first child by 21. Why so young?
I married my high school sweetheart. We’d been together since we were 16, so it was time.
What was your role in the delivery room?
I stay out of the way! My wife is a small girl, but she had such a grip on my hand once that I thought she would break it.
What‘s the most useless piece of baby equipment?
All of those “developmental” baby toys. They’re a waste because babies don’t play with them. Babies naturally learn best by everyday behavior, like talking to them and interacting with them.
What‘s a typical evening at the Gracin house?
Chaos! My wife makes dinner. I’ll never force the kids to eat something they don’t like, but they have to try it at least once. Then I roughhouse with them, but get yelled at for getting them hyper before bed. Izzy needs a bottle before bed, and she’s down by 8. The rest go to bed at 8:30.
What sort of things did your parents say to you that you find yourself saying to your kids?
“Don’t play your mom and I against each other.” “Don’t hit your sisters!”
What has fatherhood taught you?
You can’t be too extreme in one direction. Sometimes you have to be the hard guy and sometimes the fun guy.
What‘s your signature parenting tool?
The Look. When I give them The Look, they know I mean business. My 3-year-old turns on the tears when she doesn’t get her way, but when I give her The Look, she stops.
What‘s a perfect family day look like?
Once my sod has finally taken and I have grass, I’d like to sit on the deck and watch my children play on the swing set and trampoline. In another week, we can do it!
What‘s harder “¦ stepping on the American Idol stage or potty training?
Potty training is more frustrating, that’s for sure.
How is your son different than your daughters?
He’s a lot easier to handle. There’s no drama with him. And when your son turns 16, you don’t have to worry about other boys coming around!
What kind of boys would you like your girls to date?
None of them! Seriously though, the only way to protect your children from people you don’t want around is to raise them to respect themselves and to make good decisions.
What values are important to you?
The Marine Corps slogan says it all: Honor, Courage and Commitment. Those three things are the umbrella for everything they’ll face in life.